Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas and Ho Ho Ho...

Christmas was really fun. Got lots of good stuff, gave some great stuff too! But the best thing I got was a present I bought myself...

A 2007 Ford Edge!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Alive I Swear! Just Really Busy!

So I haven't blogged since the first of October. So what? You're still checking to see if I posted, right?
Alright, here's the update. And pictures will follow soon.
October flew by. I had several students compete in the State Fair Youth Talent Show. One act, Alli and Lucas, won their regional and got to compete in the finals. They didn't win, but totally should have. Aladdin and Princess Jasmine totally didn't deserve to win!
Halloween was fun. Landon wore his monkey costume again and was just as cute, if not cuter, this year than last year. I decided to stay home, hand out goodies, and watch the Razorbacks kill some random team for Homecoming.
November was rather busy. Lots of rehearsals for the Community Theater. Thanksgiving was fun, and Nana made some excellent turkey and dressing!
This last weekend was the ICFCT's production of "A Little More Off Broadway." It was so much fun! I have forgotten how much I like doing plays and things. We just put a whole bunch of songs together as a revue, and had a blast doing it. I made some great friends and can't wait to do it again, and maybe get paid for it!
My Christmas Concerts for school are scheduled for the 14th and the 17th. Right now, I'm supposed to be working on programs for the concerts, but as you can see, I'm blogging! School ends on the 18th and then it's two weeks off for the holidays. Gosh, that sure can't come soon enough. Well, got to get to work. I've procrastinated enough between blogging and Facebook!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Procrastination is the New Trend

Holy cow, it's almost the middle of October! Sorry that I haven't written anything in a while. I've been a little busy. I know, no excuse- every one's busy.

School is going very well. We are almost through the first nine weeks, if you can believe that. Nine weeks tests are next week, and parent teacher conferences the week after that. The choirs are working very hard. We've already started some Christmas music, and "Carol of the Bells" is progressing along at a very nice pace if I say so! Chamber Choir is currently working on the Cactus Cuties arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner." We're going to record it tomorrow, so I can let you all hear how well they are sounding. I'm super proud of all my groups this year.

Braden has been home sick all this week. He's been running a really high temperature that we can't seem to stop from coming back. No swine flu, though, just some kind of bug!

Landon is growing by leaps and bounds. He will be three at the end of the month, if you can believe that. I just hope he fits into his monkey costume!

I've started the search for a new car. I have my choices narrowed down to a Ford Edge, a Nissan Murano, or a Chevy Equinox. Yes, I'm looking at crossover SUVs. Nothing is wrong with my car, except that it's twelve years old and has over 160,000 miles on it. But, I've got to have something I can haul around a piano and four kids, not to mention store the car seat and the booster seat for the nephews.

I don't know if all of you know, but I auditioned for the Izard County Community Theater in August. We are rehearsing for a Broadway revue that will include songs from Rent, South Pacific, West Side Story, The Pajama Game, The Sound of Music, and a lot of other musicals I can't remember off the top of my head. Our only problem is our director is in Little Rock at Children's Hospital with his son. His appendix burst last week, and he's still having a lot of problems. Keep them in prayers!

And, yesterday I received my school picture. Does this bring back horrible memories or what?!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A New Normal

Things seem to be getting back to normal around here. I don't know about the rest of the family, but every once and a while I get these sudden urges to cry- for the boys growing up without a mother, for the way Melanie and her mother and grandmother were unable to patch things up, for Melanie's eleven year old brother Christopher. All these things and more just hit me at odd times during the day, and I usually end up crying for a minute or two.

We did find something interesting in the house last night. Jonathan decided to help Janine (she and two other people are helping clean and pack Jonathan and Melanie's house to get it ready to sell) by starting to clean the basement. Jonathan's had some trouble with the basement flooding, and apparently it flooded pretty badly over the summer and Melanie didn't tell Jonathan about it for one reason or another- probably because he was lying in the bed with a new hip. Well, a lot of the items in the basement were ruined because of water damage. As we started going through some of the water damaged items, we found a certificate of baptism from the First Assembly of God in Bagdad, Florida. It was dated August 24, 1997 and it was Melanie's! I felt such a relief after seeing that.

Some people have been asking what they can do to help us. Mostly we just need your prayers. Especially the boys. But if you feel like you want to do more, we've set up an account for donations to help Braden and Landon. If you would like to send a donation, please use the following information:

Citizens Bank
Jonathan Brown & Family
PO Box 2156
Batesville, AR 72503
Account Number: 6980260

Any amount you can donate will help them. We've been asking people to donate to the account rather than buying flowers or food. At least this way, the boys will have something good come out of this horrible tragedy.

Keep praying for us. And thank you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We buried Melanie today.

Today was a very hard day. We buried Melanie this morning. All week long I've been trying my best to hold it together, for the sake of my brother, the boys and my mom and dad. I just wanted to be there to help them as much as I could.

But this morning, I had to dress Landon and Braden for their mother's funeral. Nana, Melanie's grandmother, bought them a new outfit to wear for the service. Landon loved his and wanted to put it on because he knew how much his mom would have liked it. Braden on the other hand, did not even want to look at it. The day Janine brought it over for him to try on, he basically ran out of the room and wouldn't even look at it. I eventually got it on him, and as I started to get ready, my heart broke for my two boys. I've never in my life had to do something as hard as holding on to Braden's hand as we sat through the funeral for his mother. How can you help a five year old understand why things like this happen when it's so hard to understand yourself?

The boys did really well. Landon even went up and gave his mom a small little puppy to keep with her. She had given a similar one to Braden about six months ago that he hasn't let go of. Last night Landon wanted to watch the video we were showing at the visitation. Braden had not up to that moment wanted to even look at a picture. But I guess he decided it would be alright because he climbed up on my lap and watched the video with us.

I think everyone was ready for the funeral. We had to wait so long because some of her family was coming from France and Canada. The service was beautiful. Pastor Tony officiated and did such a good job. Melanie's sister Megan gave a eulogy that just about ripped my heart out. But the thing that still makes me cry is watching my brother as the grief started settling in on him, and the tears running down his face, and the sob coming from his chest. I love him so much and to see my little brother in so much pain tears me apart.

Melanie was buried in the family mausoleum at Janine's farm. It's a beautiful spot, looking over a valley and very close to her farm. Some of Mel's family is buried there. And the chapel connected to the mausoleum is absolutely beautiful- very reminiscent of the small family chapels you would see in the countryside in France.

After they had sealed her crypt, I walked Landon over to say goodbye. He wanted to pull her back out to look at her one more time. It about broke my heart when he blew her kisses as we walked away. I couldn't ever get Braden to go over to her grave to see her. But, he had his eleven year old uncle to keep him company, so he was dealing with things in his own way.

Please keep all of us in your prayers, especially Jonathan and the boys. This is going to be a difficult next few months for them. And thank you to everyone who came by, called, or just thought about us over the last six days. The scripture I picked out for her program still brings me hope:

"... in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just Like That

In the blink of an eye, your life can change.

Our family learned that yesterday. My brother has been in the law enforcement field for over ten years, and still the toughest thing he has ever had to do is family notifications. Yesterday, one of his friends had to perform this official duty for my brother.

My sister-in-law, Melanie, was killed in a car accident on Thursday morning. She was 25 years old and the mother of two.

And the one thing that keeps worrying on my heart: I don't know if she was saved.

Please keep our family in your prayers over the next few days and weeks. The boys are doing okay, but I don't think they realize exactly what has happened. But, how do you tell a five year old his mother will never come home again to see him?

Funeral arrangements will be made this morning. Melanie's family will be here today. They are coming in from Florida and Canada. Please pray for their safety in travel as well as peace during the next few days.

We appreciate all the people who have called, stopped by, texted, and brought food. The support and love you have shared with us has been remembered and loved.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Before... During...

Many people have been asking how the house renovation is going and what the house looks like on the inside. I decided to use mom's Flip camera and make a video. But before you see the during, take a look at before:

Well, with a video camera, I thought I'd make a simple tour of the house. Check your volume; I'm still learning how to make the movie. Also, please ignore the fact that I have no makeup on and the general haggardness of my appearance- I'd been working in the house all day!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's a Marry World!

If you didn't know the new Harry Potter movie was released this week, you seriously haven't been paying attention to anything! I absolutely love these movies and books. Before I see any new movie in the series, I like to reread the book and watch the previous movies. I didn't let myself down at all this time. I reread not only Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as well. And then, on Wednesday, I parked myself in front of the TV for a Harry Potter marathon, which Braden joined me for part of the day.

I'm really excited about the way Braden has attached himself to the Potter world- only in Braden speak, it's "Marry Podder." I have to keep reminding him it's Harry, like the hairy head you have! It's so funny to hear him talk about "Marry Podder" and then correct himself with "Harry Potter."

Mom and I went to the movies this morning (at 10:00 AM) to see the sixth installment of the series. I must say, this movie was so good! Even if you have never seen a single movie in the series, this one will stand by itself and make you want to watch all the others leading up to this movie. In fact, Mom got in the car after the movie and said she couldn't wait to start reading these books. This is something I've been trying to get my Mom to do since the books first came out! I was so surprised when those words came out of her mouth! Luckily, I have the first two books in paperback at her house, so she started reading them today. Alright, so that's enough HP talk today. Make time to go see this in the theater. I am definitely going to go see it again!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

About four or five years ago, I read a book called "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. I loved this book. It was crazy trying to keep track of all the jumping around and details in the book, but the love story between Claire and Henry was so true. It has finally been made into a movie! Yeah! It comes out in theaters on August 14, and I'm really looking forward to it. Check out the trailer:

Even if I was alone with a dead demon.

I love stupid things on Facebook.

I received a status update from a friend, and it was completely irrelevant gibberish about green tea. I decided to look at her page, and in the comments, I saw the explanation for her status.

Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
Turn to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post that sentence AS YOUR STATUS.
POST these instructions in a comment to this status.
**Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST book.

Well, the closest book to me at the time was "Carpe Demon," so that should explain the title of the post. I got a laugh out of it anyway, and I was amazed at how many other people decided to join in the fun as well! What can I say, I'm an easy laugh!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Do I Know of Holy

I made you promises a thousand times.
I tried to hear from Heaven, but I talked the whole time.
I think I made you too small.
I never heard you at all, no.
If you touched my face, would I know you?
Looked into my eyes, would I behold you?

What do I know of you, who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean?
Are you fire, are you fury?
Are you sacred, are you beautiful?
So, what do I know? What do I know of holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out.
I knew all the stories, and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save,
But those were only empty words on a page.
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be,
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees.

What do I know of you, who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean?
Are you fire, are you fury?
Are you sacred, are you beautiful?
So, what do I know? What do I know of holy?

What do I know of holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame,
And a God who gave life its name?
What do I know of holy,
Of the One whom the angels praise?
All creation knows your name
On Earth and Heaven above.
What do I know of this love?

What do I know of you, who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean?
Are you fire, are you fury?
Are you sacred, are you beautiful?
So, what do I know? What do I know of holy?

~Allison Rogers & Jennifer Simmons
Recorded by Addison Road

Unfailing God

Though my eyes may fail me,
I will follow after You.
Though Your promise seems forsaken,
I'll remember the world's in Your hands.
You'll find me singing

You are unfailing God, Your love's unending.
And Your Word is eternal, firm in the heavens it stands.

Though sorrow's my condition,
And pain holds back no blow.
Though this be my darkest hour,
Your lamp is leading me home,
And You'll find me singing

You are unfailing God, Your love's unending.
And Your Word is eternal, firm in the heavens it stands.

Eyes can't see, but I feel You near.
I know You're working through my tears.
I trust You Lord. I trust You, for You never walk away.

You are unfailing God, Your love's unending.
And Your Word is eternal, firm in the heavens it stands.

~Mitchell Schiff & Michael Rossback

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Man's Highly Qualified Is Another Man's Idiot?

I received official notification today from the Department of Education that I have passed my Praxis III (read about my feelings on these tests here and here). Yeah, I've just been told that I'm a qualified teacher now. So technically, I could have failed my way through school, done a mediocre job with student teaching, but been able to pass an examination and be deemed "Highly Qualified." What's wrong with that picture?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

House Update

Since summer is here, and I have nothing to do, there's been a lot of work at the house recently. And thanks to Evan, who came up for a visit last weekend and wasn't afraid to tear things down, the kitchen demo has begun! Here are a few before and during shots. (We aren't really done with anything, but we're getting close!)

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen During:

Office Before:
Office Almost Done:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jonathan Got a New Hip.

When my brother was five, he was diagnosed with a disease called Calve-Perthes Disease. His ball-joint of his hip was deteriorating, causing him to have significant pain and other problems. After having to wear a leg brace for about two years, his condition improved.

His leg had been fine, but over the last few years, it had started causing him problems. His doctor had been putting off a hip replacement for as long as possible, but in March, the doctor said it was time. His hip had reached a point where the femoral head, or ball-joint, was in necrosis and needed to be removed before Jonathan lost the ability to walk.

We travelled to Little Rock to St. Vincent's where Dr. Newbern and his staff replaced Jonathan's hip. (You can watch a short video on hip replacement here.) After two days, Jonathan was on his way home with a new hip and five inch incision with fifteen staples.

He's been staying with Mom and Dad since his house has lots of stairs and Melanie is at work most of the day. He's been a relatively good patient, not taking too much advantage of not being able to do much of anything. Keep him in your prayers; he's going to be at the mercy of others for another five weeks or so.

Revolutionary Road

I just finished watching Revolutionary Road and am now thoroughly depressed. If Jack and Kate can't make it, who can???

*** This will contain spoilers, so if you haven't watched the movie and don't want to know, don't read past here; read it later!

Revolutionary Road is about a couple in the 1950's who are struggling with the mundane. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio star as April and Frank Wheeler. They have two children and live in a charming two story house on Revolutionary Road. Their realtor, Kathy Bates, is a close friend, as well as their neighbors, Shep and Milly Campbell.

Frank works for a marketing company selling electronics. April is a stay-at-home mom. After Frank fraternizes with a new secretary at the company, he comes home- on his birthday, no less- to a dreamy, determined April. She's ready to chuck everything they have and move to Paris. She wants to be the bread-winner and let Frank try his hand at whatever he wants to do. Everything is going according to plan until April ends up pregnant.

Things at work begin going really well for Frank, and he is offered a big promotion. When he tells April, she doesn't act happy and asks him why he hasn't told them he is leaving in September. Because of the baby (or so we think), April and Frank decide not to go to Paris. April then goes into a deep depression.

They end up going out with their neighbors, the Campbells, and when Milly gets sick and Frank takes her home, April then sleeps with Shep. Frank then decides to confess all his past sins and tells April of the affairs he's had with the secretarial pool at the office. She goes off the deep end, and they have a mother of a fight. The next morning she makes him breakfast, they have a very pleasant morning, and she sends him off to work. She then tries to perform a self-abortion and proceeds to bleed to death from complications of the miscarriage she causes.

This movie was completely depressing, and all I kept thinking was poor Jack and Kate (think "Titanic" here). The acting in the movie was fantastic, though. No wonder this movie was up for so many awards. Definitely see it if you get the chance. Just remember to think happy thoughts throughout it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Holy Crow! What a Day!

I have had an interesting 24 hours. This picture has nothing to do with my day; I just haven't put a picture of Oliver on here in a while.

Yesterday, around 5:30 PM, my computer had to visit the emergency room. Some error message came up and my computer would no longer boot up. After Googling the error, I'm beginning to fear that my motherboard is fried. Really, that's what all the websites said. I almost have no hope.

This morning, I got up early so I could get to school and get things set up, but as I started to walk out the door, I began a 20 minute search for my keys. After I had been on the road with my spare key for about 10 minutes, Dad called and said he found them. After waiting for him for another 7 minutes, he called and said he was at his office (apparently we had a miscommunication- he said park and wait for him, but what he meant to say was park and wait for him at his office). Needless to say, I left Batesville this morning at 7:28 AM. I have a 40 minute drive to the high school. I pulled into the parking lot at 8:02 AM. Whew! Luckily there were no police out this morning!

About 9:00 AM, one of my students pointed out a giant puddle of water forming around my lunch bag. My water bottle lid had come loose, and 24 ounces of water had filled my bag, soaking my food and the floor at the same time. I was thirsty all day long.

But, my bad day got a whole lot better tonight. As I was watching American Idol, I'd come to the realization that Adam was probably going to win. But, fortunately, I was wrong. Arkansas has its first American Idol: Kris Allen from Conway!

Now, if my concert tomorrow night goes like the American Idol Season, I'll be a happy camper. Six more school days until summer vacation begins!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Kris Allen is through to the finals with Adam Lambert! I'm so excited. I do have a theory. Danny Gokey and Kris Allen are very similar in their musical types, so maybe all the people who voted for Danny will vote for Kris, and then Kris will be the next AMERICAN IDOL!
Well, that's my theory.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

American Idol

I have't blogged about American Idol at all this year. I feel so behind. But let me point out something:

I cannot stand how Adam Lambert's tongue sticks out to his chin when he sings. Is he trying to immitate Gene Simmons or Steven Tyler? And why does he only do it when his mouth is wide open, flapping in the breeze? The majority of the time is tongue is relaxed and where it should be, and when that happens he's usually singing in his "broadway" voice. And the other thing that bothers me is how he is such a judge's pet. They call him brilliant, but honestly he does the same screaming on pitch type singing he's done all season. True, occaisionally he tries to be a balladeer, but it's still the same musical theater style performance (I have nothing wrong with musical theater- several of my best friends live in New York and are performers).

I honestly am cheering for Kris Allen to win, not because he's from Arkansas or anything, but because in all honesty, I would never, ever buy a CD in the style of music that Adam Lambert has produced on the show (dare I make you recall his rendition of "Ring of Fire?"). Kris, I would buy that album without even thinking about it...

13 Days and Counting...

I've been working really hard this month. It seems that everything is coming to a close, and I'm saying goodbye to a lot of students. My seniors last day was Friday, and I really started thinking about how far I've come as a teacher. At the beginning of the year, I thought I never, ever wanted to teach high school choir. I'm beginning to think I might have been wrong. True, my piano skills are severely lacking when it comes to being a proficient choir teacher, but with technology and some very patient and very musically gifted students, I had an amazing concert with four acappella pieces. I even "played" the piano on two pieces.

Saturday, the band director and I headed up a Talent Show fundraiser at the school. We had about 17 acts, and in the end, earned over $500. Many people were very excited about the Talent Show and asked us if we were going to do it again next year. Yeah! A tradition in the making.

We have an awards program for the seniors tomorrow night, and I really don't know how I'm going to get through this without crying. These kids have dealt with a lot over the last few years, so it was nice to have such a successful choir season. Graduation is Thursday night, and luckily the choir doesn't have to do anything. Good thing too: all but one of my basses and four of my altos are graduating! We ran a song this morning, just to hear the voicing in the room, and I was shocked!

I have my Elementary and Middle School concert next Thursday, and after that, I think it may be movie time! I really think the kids have worked super hard and deserve a break. And what's not to like about watching a musical with the projector and cool sound system with a whole lot of popcorn?

I really don't have any plans for the summer, except for working on my poorly neglected house. My brother is having a hip replacement June 2, so keep him in your prayers. And me and mom, since we'll be dealing with him and the boys for a couple of weeks! I'm also probably going to have to have my gall bladder taken out sometime this summer. If that happens, I'll keep you posted...

Now, if I can only make it through the next thirteen days... And with faces at home like these, I know it will go by "super" fast!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Concert Season

The High School Choir had their concert Thursday night. I was so proud of them. They did an amazing job! I never pictured myself directing a high school choir, but I did it. We sang six songs; you can view the program here. Anyway, I had eleven seniors in this group, and I am really going to miss them. Graduation is set for May 14th, and the seniors' last day is May 8th. I can't believe the year is almost over!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Exhaustion Has Set In

Last night, I went with my mother to Walmart around 5:30PM. While there, I noticed that I was really tired. I don't know what was going on, but when we got home around 7:00PM, I told mom I was going to go lay down for a few minutes. I guess I was tired or something, because I did not move until 6:00AM! THIS MORNING! It was amazing. I haven't had a good night of sleep like that in a long time. I guess I was tired, huh?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mile Three!

I did it!

Today I reached the 30 pound mark. I have lost exactly 30 pounds since beginning this crazy journey! None of my clothes fit anymore. I had to be extremely careful today when doing the Cha-Cha Slide with my fourth graders: my pants almost fell off during the dance!

I started doing Yoga this last week. I really, really, really can tell a difference in everything from just a few days doing this. My body feels so much better afterwards, and I have so much energy. I don't know why I didn't start doing this sooner! Walking is great, but you can only walk so long on a tredmill before you feel like a hamster on a wheel.

Anyway, I'm continuing to learn that I like different kinds of foods. I can tolerate salads now, even though I am still not a gigantic fan. I really like cottage cheese now, something I used to refuse to even look at unless it was in lasagna. I really like avocados and green pepper. I can't wait for all the Farmers' Markets to start operating again so I can get some fresh produce. Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

H2O Overload...

I feel like all I do anymore is drink water and go to the bathroom. I guess that's why as of Friday, I have lost 28 1/4 pounds!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Praxis Shmaxis!

To become a licensed teacher in the state of Arkansas, you are required to pass the Praxis series of exams. See what I think of all these tests here.

The tests are three stages of exams designed especially for teachers. The first is very much like an ACT test. The second is a three part test covering specific content knowledge of your subject, lesson planning skills, and the principles of learning and teaching. These tests are completed before you can receive your initial teaching license from the state. The third test is given in the first two years of your teaching experience. It requires a state designated observer to come and observe your teaching skills in your classroom. My Praxis III was given today.

I've been working with a specific class all year and designated them to be the class I used for my observation. They are the most well-behaved class in the school, and their teacher is my mentor teacher, so that helped with some of the observations we've had to do. They were so cute today! We practiced coming into the classroom yesterday, to make sure they were sitting in the right seat and not causing too much commotion as they entered. As they came in to the room today, they were all perfect. One student even pulled me aside to tell me his mother, the band director, had told him to be extra good today because we were going to have a special visitor in the class and that I shouldn't worry about anyone being bad because he had told everyone about the very special visitor. How can you not smile at this?

Anyway, the class picked up really well on the lesson, and we got through everything I wanted to get through. I had even gone through and answered some of the interview questions earlier this morning, so I knew I was prepared. I signed off on all the paperwork and will receive my scores in the next few weeks. Keep me in your prayers! I really don't want to have to go through all this again next semester!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Their Round and Clear and Pop Really Easily...

Bubbles. I love bubbles. And I love sharing bubbles. I found these great "Bubble Wands" at Wal-Mart the other day for $1, so I bought a couple for the boys. Alright, they were mostly for me, but we had fun playing with them. Braden even took time to pose for a picture or two. At least we got some outside play time in between all the demolition at my new house and the possible snow we could get tomorrow. Boo! When will it ever be warm all the time?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mile Two

I am now down twenty pounds! In five weeks on the diet, I have now lost 21 1/2 pounds. Yeah!
I've also started moving all of my things from the house in Horseshoe Bend to my new house in Batesville. I hope I don't have to move anytime soon. I really, really despise it. Loathe it, if you will.
Luckily this week I am on Spring Break. Good thing to, because on top of moving my entire life, I am sick, again. BOO!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am the Spector of Death!

At least that's the way it feels. In all my 32 years on this earth and through all the cross-country travel I've done through the farmlands of Arkansas, I have only seen one, count them one, dead cow.

Until this week.

I think I've counted at least six dead cows in pastures close to the road since Monday. I don't know why they catch my attention, but there they are: lying on the grass, usually beginning to bloat, with their tongues hanging morbidly out of their mouths. Strange, I know.

And that doesn't count the three birds I've killed on my way to school this week. Seriously, animals here is your last chance. If you see me coming, run the other way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mile One

February 10th brought about a lot of changes for me and my mom. About two years ago, she joined a weight-loss program and did a great job, losing almost eighty pounds. Well, two years later, she and I both had not accomplished what we wanted in regard to our weight. Weight has been something my family deals with on a daily basis. There are very few members of my family that are not considered obese to morbidly obese by medical standards. I've been on mom since before Christmas to go back to this weight-loss program. Her blood pressure, breathing, and other health factors were really starting to scare me. And then I thought, well, if I'm griping at mom for this, I might as well look in the mirror and gripe at myself about the same things. So I did.

We cut out caffeine, sugar, and salt; began drinking what seems like a million gallons of water; and began eating properly portioned meals. I've started exercising every day between 30 to 60 minutes a day. I'm really excited about the progress so far. In four weeks, I've lost almost 17 pounds and 22 inches. I've dropped my blood pressure from the first reading of 146/91 to 121/76. And I feel so much better. And I can already tell a difference in mom too.

Please keep us in your prayers. Willpower can only get you so far; sometimes divine intervention is needed to change lives the way we are trying.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I hate being sick...

I've been diagnosed with bronchitis. I hate coughing, I hate coughing, I hate coughing. It's not my favorite thing to do. Let alone, the nose blowing or the not being able to breath. I missed the last two days of school because of this. Not fun in the slightest!
On another note, because of the ice, our school district was originally going to have to make up four days. The school board wanted us to fore go our spring break to make up the days. All the teachers vetoed that one! After the state forgave two of the days, we now only have to make up two days. This is going to be a lot easier to do. We already have to go two days after Memorial Day in May, so why not go the whole rest of the week anyway!
Ahh, just think- only 61 school days to go until Summer Vacation!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monthly Report

I really didn't mean to go for almost a month before putting up a new post. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, lots of things have been happening. January 26 brought some light to heavy rain that decided to freeze as it fell. Because of that, I lived without electricity or phone at my house for almost two weeks. Okay, so I didn't live there when there wasn't electricity, I was at my parents' house, but the point is I was displaced because of the storm.

We were out of school for six days and are still suffering from the effects of the ice- no phones and internet at the elementary and no drinking water at the high school. Yes, I said no drinking water. Brockwell is under a boil order, so all the drinking fountains and such have been turned off. Each day, students and teachers are given one bottle of water to last all day. Mr. Walker, our superintendent, has filed an appeal to see if we can have the days we missed forgiven so we don't have to go through the middle of June.

The community in and of itself looks like a tornado has gone through it. A large quantity of trees are either down or have lost or broken branches. Houses have suffered lots of damage from falling trees and branches, not to mention the weight 3-4 inches of ice plus 5-6 inches of snow puts on roofs and trees. We're trying to get back to normal, and it looks like we are going to survive, as long as the tornadoes and straight line winds don't tear down all the work the electric companies just completed!

I officially am a homeowner. We closed on the house last week, so all the papers are signed and the deed to the house is now in my name with mom and dad. It's going to be so fun getting this house ready. As you can see from the pictures, there needs to be a lot of work. The previous owner had her own style of decorating that does not include good taste! I've been working on color pallets and flooring choices, and wishing for new furniture. We'll see what happens in the near future.

Viewing these pictures may cause you to want to vigorously clean your house and may insult your aesthetic sensibilities.

We also welcomed a new member to our family. Jonathan and Melanie adopted a full blooded black German shepherd named Black Jack Special, or Jack for short. He's a beautiful dog and absolutely huge!

From January 2009

Anyway, all's good here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Lots of things have been going on over the last two weeks. School started back with a bang, the previous choir director at my school was convicted on 16 counts of sexual assault, my grandmother is home from the hospital, I got a new cell phone, and MY DAD BOUGHT ME A HOUSE! I'll have pictures in a few days. I'm so excited!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Don't Forget to Eat Some Black-Eyed Peas Today!

It's been a crazy few days around here. Christmas was really fun, all the wrapping paper has finally been burned or taken away by the trash men. All the chaotic mood changes have really had me a little on edge- a family can only spend so much time together without driving each other crazy. And my grandmother is in the hospital (keep her in your prayers- it's not supposed to be too serious, but with hospitals, the more prayer the better!). Yeah, I've had a fun couple of days.

So, in order to bring me all the good luck and prosperity I can glean in the New Year, I'm making sure to eat some black-eyed peas. Plus, I need to make sure there's a tall, dark-haired man walking through my door as the first visitor in the new year. Some of these superstitions are kind of fun and crazy. But, I'm certainly not going to chance the black-eyed peas!

I've watched the ball drop in New York Times Square and am planning to watch my favorite parade in the morning, the Tournament of Roses Parade. Happy 2009 everyone!

Some fun New Year's memories:

Mid 1980's
Cramming what seemed like 25+ family members into our small house in Jonesboro, watching the ball drop, sleeping on any available flat surface, watching the Tournament of Roses Parade, and hoping it will snow to keep us out of school for one more day.

Sitting in the airport in Miami, watching the aviation repair men weld the wing back on the plane I was about to board.

Spending some time with Jamie and Rachel in the big town of Green Forest.

Partying like it's 1999 in Orlando with all the other crazy Arkansas fans in Florida for the Citrus Bowl.

Hoping the world didn't crash down on us as we partied out 1999 and welcomed the new millennium in Dallas with my other bandies.

Unpacking from the free trip to Las Vegas. What's not to like about free?

Spending the day with my family, eating and hoping the Hogs can win.

Hanging with my buds and letting the New Year ring in with a bang, and maybe some man soup in the hot tub!

Hanging with the family and watching the Hogs get slaughtered, again.